POLITICS

Hold The Champagne, The Government Is 'Fully Committed' To The Paris Climate Agreement

No matter what Donald Trump does.

01/06/2017 3:22 PM AEST | Updated 01/06/2017 3:38 PM AEST

CANBERRA -- One prominent government backbencher has the "champagne on ice" ready to celebrate the United States pulling out of the Paris climate accord, but the Environment Minister insists the Turnbull Government is "fully committed" to the agreement.

The U.S. President Donald Trump has been teasing out for days that he is about to make a formal decision on the U.S. position on Paris, even though it was election commitment to withdraw from the accord.

Under the terms of the deal, the U.S. cannot officially withdraw until November 2019, but such an announcement would signal the White House has no plans to meet earlier targets for slashing greenhouse gas emissions.

It's expected Trump will follow through with the withdrawal -- and become one of just three countries outside the historic pact -- at a now scheduled event in Washington at 5.00am (AEST), which has left Craig Kelly, the chair of the government's environment and energy committee, ready to celebrate.

Kelly has previously described the Paris agreement as "cactus". In Senate estimates on Thursday, the Science Minister Arthur Sinodinos said the "smart money" was on Trump withdrawing.

And that's got Elon Musk, the billionaire founder of SpaceX, Tesla and a growing number of other startups poised to leave Trump.

Musk said Wednesday that if Trump pulls the U.S. out of the landmark international accord on combating climate change, he'll have no option but to resign from his role on Trump's business advisory council.

As well, in Senate estimates, the Chief Scientist Alan Finkel said that eventuality would be a blow, but "not a fatal blow".

Finkel said the bulk of the international community way behind the Paris accord.

That includes the Turnbull Government, according to the Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg.

"Look I am absolutely convinced and certain that Australia is committed fully to the Paris agreement, "he told Sky News.

"We see it as important to transition to a low emissions economy, but we want to do so in the most cost effective way.

"In a way that ensures energy security and stability and energy affordability, knowing how price sensitive people are to higher electricity bill and how it impacts on our international competitiveness."

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